its rear door open to receive him

hhtt21

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"A black Volvo saloon waits at his front gate, its rear door open to receive him." The part "its rear door open to receive him." is baffling me. Would you explain it? First of all, I think it is an informal construction. Should not it be "its rear door is open to receive him."? Why does the sentence ignore/neglect the helping verb is?

https://books.google.com.tr/books?i...e, its rear door open to receive him"&f=false

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GoesStation

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It's a proper, rather formal sentence. The second clause modifies the noun phrase a black Volvo saloon. Adding is would make the sentence incorrect, but you could add it and make two correct sentences if you replaced the comma with a period ("full stop" in BrE).

Here's a simpler sentence which might make this clearer: ​A black Labrador sat by the door, its mouth hanging open.
 

hhtt21

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Gramatically speaking, what is the structure the sentence is using? How can this sentence be called?

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GoesStation

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Gramatically speaking, what is the structure the sentence is using? How can this sentence be [strike]called[/strike] described?
Is the sentence clearer if its word order is changed like this? "A black Volvo saloon, its rear door open to receive him, waits at his front gate."
 

hhtt21

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Is the sentence clearer if its word order is changed like this? "A black Volvo saloon, its rear door open to receive him, waits at his front gate."

Yes, I understand the meaning easily after your explanations but I am trying to do a grammatical inspection such as what kind of a sentence it is.

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GoesStation

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Yes, I understand the meaning easily after your explanations but I am trying to do a grammatical inspection such as what kind of a sentence it is.
We don't have an adjective that means "rear door opened". If we did, it could be added to the list of adjectives describing the car: The black, rear-door-open, Volvo saloon.... The author wrote an adjectival phrase instead: its rear door open to receive him. This phrase could have been inserted as a parenthetical clause (as I did in post #4); instead, the author attached it to the end of the sentence. It's still, I believe, a parenthetical expression.
 
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